Scully: It is all about the team
Lysa with a collection of Port outerwear brings back memories.
AIRPORT VOICE, SEPTEMBER 2019 17
A-My LGA leadership of men are
gifted and talented. The airport was
long a bastion of men, but Sue created
a culture of building relationships and
people pulling for each other. A lot of
men are compassionate, empathetic
and partners in both private and professional
settings. It is a consciousness
to be OK to develop bonds, and show
side of self to be more real. It is important
as a man as well to let people let
know who you are. OK to have faults.
We need to work together to get things
LGA people push for another. It is to
be best for airport and customer.
Q-What is your standout memory
A-It has been such an exciting
time. The last 5 years have been incredible.
We have moved so quickly
with so much success in different projects;
East and West garages, East end
sub station, replacement of all underground
infrastructure and support,
first concourse, two major runway repaves,
all the roadways, with industry
setting operational changes. We were
the first airport to bus FHV customers
to make sure the operations continued
during construction. Now other airports
are following suit. A whole product
FHV which other airports are doing
what we did. We that did that. We
continue to break ground and proud of
LGA will be new from end to end
and really exciting to be part of that.
Q-How do you feel about local
A-Every General Manage of Port
airports has an obligation to take care
of the communities that we operate
in. We have to be good stewards. We
have to be part of that community.
That is an expectation of any airport
leader. I do it because I love doing it.
The groups and institutions outside
of the airport like Vaughn, like LGA
Kiwanis, Queens community houses
are all helping develop young people.
These children, I want them to know
this airport is an opportunity for them
as well. We are providing opportunities
to be part of this workforce , part
of aviation, an exciting way to improve
a family situation. Many linkages.
Great to see when family is touched in
a very positive way.
I plan to continue on the The
Vaughn College Board to help me continue
to advocate for young professionals
Q-How has Public, Private Partnership
worked (P3) at LGA?
A-The public, private partnership,
P3 ,I look at is incredible. That is another
incredible privilege to be part
of and proud of. We have been in forefront,
the largest P3 back n 2013, when
we decided triple P and then executed
it. There was lots of learning and yet
very successful. Port could not afford
to do alone. Look where we are
now. LGA opened 18 gates and will be
80 % complete when the Head House
opens in Spring of 2020. We were able
to bring on LaGuardia Gateway Partners,
not just a private financial partner
but bringing a tech expertise and
marketplace in a way we could not do
alone. We share risks. Just look at the
evidence and see what is happening,
and it works. P3 has always been at airports
but this was different in that we
brought a developer in initially at Terminal
B handling the scope and size of
the terminal handling 50% of traffic at
LGA was very different. You can see
the success. Again, I am so honored to
be part of the team that did it. It is a
legacy for my professional career.
Q- What was your most proud
A-Certainly being involved in legacy
setting P3 partnership. Everyone
around the country looks at this airport.
We have maintained LGA running
as we have been rebuilding it. I
like to say the LGA is not an airport
with construction, it is a construction
site within a airport. I am so proud of
the team. We have never shut it down
for construction and we have grown
passenger numbers that are so prideful
4% over last year while in the redevelopment
process. Our customers
are making a choice to come here.
They are seeing this as a place to call
home. I am really proud of this. We
have had 350 roadway changes since
2016. That is incredible to react to
change geometry to change road signals,
divert traffic and continue to
serve the public without causing extreme
pain. Let me say, we have had
some difficult days but in the scheme
of things with 2500 construction
workers,, 12,000 employees, and an average
100,000 travelers on a peak day
using the airport it has been incredible.
The demands and staff, what they
have done, it a privilege and the most
prideful thing that has happened to
me. In addition to work with so many
young professionals and to see them
grow, it’s great. I get emotional. My
reasons for getting emotional? They
are an amazing talented team. I feel
this leadership team in place for the
Q-What were your Initial
thoughts on the then new position
as LGA GM? What was your biggest
fear in taking the job.
A-Listen, if you’re not having some
not hesitancy or anxiety, you can make
stupid mistakes. It is good to have a little
fear in the back of your mind. My
biggest concern was having a strong
financial service background and not
an aviation technical background. But
according to Sue, being a leader and
aviation is about managing people, not
the tech functions. I didn’t need to be
the person having all the aeronautical
aspects but I needed to provide the resources
to them to be successful. Once
I embraced fact that job, I began to feel
comfortable but needed to be successful
of course. After that initial time on
the job I never felt uncomfortable.
Q With airport organizations
dying. What would you suggest?
A-One of the oldest clubs to help employees
was the North Beach Club at
LaGuardia which was created at time
when companies did not take care of
employees. Today most companies
have comprehensive employee programs.
Today there is no need for employee
assistance program. In the 70’s
it was very different. Today, organizations
were suffering because the need
for their benefits is less. I have been
a big supporter of the LaGuardia Kiwanis.
We are the only Kiwanis worldwide
associated with airport for over
75 years. It has done so much 3-4 year
old kids, hosting so many of events people
don’t know about. We are trying to
get word about membership because if
offers so much value to local community
with so many committed individuals.
The Word is out to get more engaged.
Having people like myself and
leadership available to younger staff is
personally rewarding by making time
and giving them time.
Q-What did you want to be when
you grew up?
A- As a young girl I wanted to be a
brain surgeon. I was a Candy Striper
in high school volunteering in a hospital,
That was end of my interest. I
did not like the smell or appearance
of blood. I could not do that and as
my mother said “ I if you make a decision
to so you have to do 150%.” So, I
changed my mind. Part of life is adjusting
Q-What will you do now that you
A-Play Golf. I was a great skier.
But guess what you give up running a
Northeast airport-winter sports! .I do
hope to go back to skiing and hoping
not to break anything.
I love Love to travel. I did not have
time to casually read but I did pick up
a book about 1000 places to see before
you die. Now I will have time to read.
My husband and I plan to travel and
play golf at these great places when we
I asked if she would take her clubs
with her and she responded, no, too
expensive to take luggage, the fees are
Q- Anything else you like to say?
A-I am Privileged to work and lead
them. I have built friendships take me
through the rest of my life.
Good luck Lysa. You have been a
leader who has touched the lives of
many and especially young women
who you have mentored, paid it forward,
friended and teamed to created
wider path for opportunity for women
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